Raphael by R.A. MacAvoy (1984) – Satan, disgusted at being cast out of heaven and forced to dwell on the lower planes among humans, blames his brother Raphael. He has a plan to bring him to ruin by using a young lute-player and friend of Raphael’s to force the angel to lower his heavenly defenses.
Saara, a powerful witch watching over Gaspare, holds the Liar to blame for killing Gaspare’s teacher and her lover, and attacks when Satan shows up in her lover’s form. She tears into Satan in an exciting air battle but is defeated and ends up bait for the trap for Raphael. To free the witch, Raphael agrees to drop his defenses. Satan takes the opportunity to strip Raphael of his angel wings and turn him into a human. He orders his servant to beat the former angel and cast him down to Earth.
Poor Raphael, innocent and naïve, losses contact with God, has his wings torn from his back, and experiences hunger, pain, and isolation for the first time. Satan sells him, confused and bleeding, to a desert slaver. Raphael, aided by a black-skinned Berber slave, learns to eat, piss, and sleep while in chains and marching across the desert. Djourna, a haughty and expensive slave, pleads with Raphael to play the part of an imbecile eunuch to survive.
Meanwhile, Sara and Gaspare set off to find Satan’s mountaintop palace and force him to tell them what he did with Raphael. They cross the Alps (with their horse!) and free a friendly dragon in a cavern beneath Satan’s palace.
Raphael and Djourna, through some fancy machinations by the woman, persuade a local businessman to buy them as a set, and when Raphael’s angelic voice and musical abilities are discovered, the slavers suspect they’ve lost out on a very profitable slave. The man’s second wife is smitten with Raphael and is a complication to Djourna’s plan for them to escape their master, but she persuades him that she’s his only friend. He reveals that she is a Berber to his master’s Berber guests, and they insist she be freed immediately (Berbers can’t be enslaved). Raphael is beaten and forced to become the second wife’s maid and Djourna is taken to a ship to be returned home.
When the black dragon helps Saara and Gaspare fight Satan for the location of Raphael, Satan turns into a giant white dragon and the aerial battle is a shining moment in the book. While Saara and Gaspare fight the white dragon, Gaspare discovers Raphael’s location from Satan’s palace slave.
Djourna decides she can’t leave without Raphael and slips off the ship and convinces him to escape with her. They flee but the Berbers are on her trail and return her to the boat and Raphael to his master who, in having him stripped for the public flogging, discovers his slave is not a eunuch at all. Angry, he summons a surgeon to ensure Raphael loses his manhood while his second wife watches.
Saara and the others race to Granada to rescue Raphael on the back of the black dragon, and arrive as the blade is being heated. Saara and Gaspare save their friend, and the dragon rescues Djourna.
While riding the dragon out of town, Satan discovers them and attacks, killing Raphael. Djourna, crushed at the death of the only man she’s ever loved, breaks down and doesn’t notice the daytime has changed to night, and a new star is slowly descending. In killing Raphael’s mortal form, Satan has returned him to his angel self. He informs Satan his power over humans has ended and takes Djourna with him when he departs for heaven.
The end felt a little rushed when Saara, Gaspare, and the black dragon decide to visit Lapland, but I was happy to see poor Raphael resurrected as an angel.